At the very least, The Vampire Lovers is a titillating experience, at the most… it’s a titillating experience. That isn’t to say it’s a bad film, simply one that isn’t particularly interesting. Though, I have to say, the Pitt factor is enough to push it past the original Hammer Dracula at least ten-fold. This film is unashamed of it’s sexy roots, focusing primarily on the sexiness of Ingrid Pitt to propel the story. She is the focus of attention, as are her ample chest and her sexy way of moving, talking.. and well breathing. Images don’t really do justice to her allure, and it’s a shame the film doesn’t stand up to her presence. The story is rather pedestrian, girls get sick, doctor think it’s anaemia… but oops! It’s vampires! Aside from a few interesting visual touches (the opening scene especially, watching the vampires wander in their veils is eerily beautiful), even the cinematography and set design is rather pedestrian.
I do appreciate it tackling the inherit sexual nature of vampirism head on, though it’s take is still fairly shallow. There is that entire association with “abnormal” sexual acts with both evil and disease that’s somewhat problematic. As is the religious connotations of the original evil originating through the act and manipulation of women. I do think, in a sort of twisted way, the film gives most power to God, and of all other creatures on earth, a beautiful woman comes second. It’s kind of interesting to think about, though the film doesn’t fully explore it.
This being my second Hammer film, I’m not entirely convinced the studio’s films are for me. I’ll probably check out some of their non-vampire work before dismissing them, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to my further adventures of Hammer and Company.